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Defining Moments

Kristin Horstman, SoHIP Administrative Assistant reflects on her fall trip to Zambia

Kristin and Agatha

Kristin and Agatha

One second. One conversation. One experience. One encounter. These are moments that challenge you—and change you. We all experience these moments in our lives— the moments of questioning, of discovery, of transformation. I often experience these moments while traveling. Each one of my international trips has what I call a “defining moment”—a moment that forever changes me. I know that I come back a little different every time, but most of the change happens incrementally. But there’s always one moment that impacts me in a way that’s difficult to express. It’s a moment that moves me to my core—that makes my heart burst … or shatter.

In Senegal, it was a woman that I didn’t even know giving me a ring because I told her I used to have one just like it. My heart burst. Kindness became real to me in that moment. In Sierra Leone, it was seeing a little girl weeping because she dropped all the food she was supposed to sell that day. She now had nothing—no money, no food. I knew she was going to bed hungry that night. I’ve never seen a child so devastated. My heart shattered with her. Poverty became real to me in that moment. In Kenya, it was the moment I knew the Lord was releasing me into my destiny—releasing me to work in Africa. I’d found my heart where I had left it last. My heart burst as joy became real to me in that moment.

My month in Zambia was filled with many memorable moments. I was joined by an awesome team, the Biersdorff family, who did a little bit of everything — including building BioSand Filters, fixing sewing machines, and capturing our trip on film.

April, Alayna, Craig, Mary, and Kristin<br />celebrate the completion of the BSFs.

I was so touched by the amazing SoHIP staff I met, and their passion to see communities transformed. Some of my favorite moments were the ones spent in the field with our Zambian staff. I had the awesome opportunity to observe our talented, expert trainers facilitate lessons on sanitation and hygiene, HIV/AIDS, and Community Health Promotion.

Although there were so many impactive moments that touched my heart, my defining moment occurred after one of the HIV/AIDS trainings. One of my responsibilities while I was in Zambia was to capture stories and testimonies from our staff and the people we serve. It was a really great way to hear about all the amazing things that Seeds of Hope is doing in Zambia.

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